Her Father: Will He Be Comfortable With It?

You might be surprised to discover that the engagement conversation can be just as nerve racking and uncomfortable for the father-of-the-bride as for the would-be groom. In the past a father’s role as protector and provider for his daughter was well established, but in modern society, where women seek independence from an early age, it can be difficult for fathers to know how to behave in this situation.

Here are some things to consider about your girlfriends father:

  • Are his values traditional or modern? If he is still very much the head of the household then it is a good idea to ask his permission. If he’s a modern man that does most of the housework while his wife pursues her high flying career, asking permission may not be so necessary, and if you do his response may be “you’ll have to ask her”.
  • Does he treat you formally? If your girlfriend’s father still insists on you calling him Mr. Roberts, and you aren’t allowed to so much as hold hands with her in his presence, you should definitely ask for his permission. If he’s already given you a big hug and asked you to call him Dad the conversation may not be necessary, but he would probably like it if you asked anyway.
  • Did he ask his wife’s father? So this might not be the easiest thing for you to find out without alerting your girlfriend suspicions that a proposal is on the way, but you could always take your girlfriend’s mother into your confidence and ask her. Mums are generally so excited about the idea of being the mother-of-the-bride they’ll be willing to tell you anything.
  • Is he able to contribute to the wedding? Just because your girlfriend’s dad isn’t able to pay for the wedding it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask his permission, you just have to be careful how you do it. By seeking their permission, many fathers might assume you are asking them to pay for the big day, so if you suspect your father-in-law can’t contribute, make sure you already know how you are going to finance the wedding before you talk to him.